Sunday, 19 October 2008

Tom's christening and that school!

Last week-end we went down to Suffolk to attend little Tom’s christening. It was held at the parish church of Copdock where Tracy and I were married in 1990. It was a bit weird going there again, first time since a little after the wedding, and it seemed a lot smaller inside now than I remember it then for some reason. Am I still growing! Surely not. Tom is the son of Tracy’s niece, Emma and her husband Keith. We had a great time, it was nice to meet up with family again, and Tom was a star through the whole thing. He seems to like Ben, smiling and laughing away whenever Ben was around him. Tracy’s other niece Jessica was also there with her fiancé, Alan, recently having announced their engagement. It was good to see her happy again and moving on with her life.
It was no surprise to us that our usual thorn in the side, the boys’ school, threatened the enjoyment of this happy occasion. Nothing surprises us with that place, continually getting things wrong and seemingly trying to make life difficult for us. In the past they have reported an Education Social Worker on us because I phoned the head to inform her that Ben was having a hard time going to school. I won’t reveal the specifics but it was about a month into his first year and he was having a hard time coming to terms with the situation that had developed at home. So, thinking it was the right thing to do, I informed the head teacher and said I need help as I didn’t know how to get him over this. Without any sympathy to our plight she forcibly told me that if I didn’t get him to school the following day the school would prosecute us!! This is a head teacher dealing with a parent who actually believes in education and has children who are polite and well behaved! Needless to say we took him in and he was worse than ever, despite the head of year reassuring us during the day. Ben later told us that the method he took to check on Ben was to go to his class and ask Ben in front of the whole class if he was ok! IDIOT. Of course he would say that! He didn’t go in the following day (understandably) and was reported to the ESW by the ever so helpful Mr Parry. He really showed himself up by being the head lap dog with this little incident, and I saw him in the head’s office as we were driving from the school. So much for me getting “help” from them! Luckily there was a school nurse there who helped us pull Ben through or God knows how Ben would have turned out. She was marvellous, but I won’t go to any teacher or member of the management at the school ever again. There are loads of things the boys have told us in the last 3 years of incidents that have happened which they have witnessed themselves, that would make any parent of a child in that school shudder, but perhaps all schools are like this, which if true is disturbing to say the least.
The week leading up to the trip is a typical example of the incompetence displayed on a regular basis. After writing letters to the form teachers of the boys at the beginning of the week to inform them that they had been invited to the christening, they were told to fill in a holiday form. Now bearing in mind that they were only going to be away for 2 school days, we did fill in the form anyway. We noticed that it said on the form that it was meant to be used for annual family holidays only, but hey, they know what they are doing, right? Sent it in and waited for a response. Got a letter from an assistant head to say that we need not have filled in the form and that a letter to the form teachers would be sufficient, and a reminder that it was not advisable to take pupils out of school during term time. HELLO! IT WAS FOR A CHRISTENING IN SUFFOLK! TAKES HALF A DAY TO EVEN GET THERE! What goes through these people’s minds? Do they expect us to leave the kids at home or with other relatives, while Tracy and I go down without them? Wouldn’t our relatives be wondering where they were and be upset that they were not there? So, after receiving the letter I phoned the school to sort the mess out, and that we had already written letters to the form teachers. I got told that everything would be sorted and that the boys would be registered as away due to family commitments. Finally, we can rest easy that the school knew and had recorded the correct information. Really? Too good to be true, I’m afraid! We went down by car, got booked in the hotel, and went to visit Tracy’s parents. Tracy checked her mobile and what do you know, a message from the school made at 2.50 enquiring that they were worried that Ben had not turned up to school! Ten to three they phoned! He had been missing since quarter to nine! And why were they phoning anyway? We had told them about the christening, remember?
So, I phoned again on the Monday morning to straighten things out again. When we got back they gave us more grief, regarding Simon’s EMA payments. The agony just goes on…! So, visit the blog next time to read the next hilarious chapter! What a Carry On… as

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